If you could arrange a face to face meeting with God Himself, how would you spend that time with Him? Maybe you’ve pondered this possibility before, or perhaps you are considering it for the first time. Either way, there’s little doubt that an experience like this would be a pivotal moment in your life.
In Scripture, we read of Jacob’s very personal and powerful encounter with the Lord that was probably far different than anything he would have planned (Genesis 32:1-32). It took place as he was returning to his original home with his family, servants, and livestock. As he traveled, he learned that his brother, Esau, was on his way to meet him… and he wasn’t coming alone. Instead, he was being escorted by a band of four hundred men! Given the threat Esau had previously made on his life, Jacob was fearful – and with good reason.
In his moment of distress, Jacob called on the Lord. Then, he took steps to protect his family and to ease tensions with his estranged brother. Later that evening, Jacob was alone when he had an unusual encounter with someone, whom he eventually recognized to be the Lord Himself – and they wrestled… all night long.
…[Then] the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” (Genesis 32:26-28, NIV)
Before facing his brother, Jacob faced his God. He determined in his heart to work things out with his Maker, and he didn’t let go of Him until this occurred. While we may not be aware of all that took place in that long struggle between God and man, we do know that Jacob was vigilant in claiming the blessing of God.
When we are pursuing peace with family, friends, or foes, often times, peace with others is possible when we’ve first made peace with God. It starts with getting alone with Him, and when necessary, relentlessly wrestling through the good, the bad, and the ugly in our lives.
If you find yourself in conflict, you may wonder if the heart that wrestles inside you can become a heart that is at rest. Indeed, it can. Hold on to your Savior, and don’t let go! Peace awaits. Walk the path.
Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries
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